By John Ikani
The government of Rwanda has announced that movements between the capital city Kigali and the rest of the country will be prohibited from Wednesday except for essential services and goods transportation.
The East African country has also banned weddings and social gatherings as it struggles to contain a surge in coronavirus infections.
Other restrictions which took effect from Wednesday include the restrictions on movement between districts, and the suspension of air travel to neighbouring Uganda where coronavirus cases are spiralling.
“The public is reminded of the critical importance of complying with health measures including physical distancing, wearing face masks, and ensure hand hygiene. Penalties will be applied for non-compliance,” a government statement said.
What you should know
Rwanda has, up to now, avoided the worst of the pandemic by enforcing some of the strictest containment measures on the continent and implementing a rigorous regime of testing and contact tracing.
But over the last few weeks, cases have shot up with authorities counting 662 cases and seven deaths on Monday.
The country of 13 million people has registered a total of 31,435 positive cases and 388 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
A nationwide campaign aimed at vaccinating 60 percent of the population by next year has so far reached just three percent of the population.